LAHORE    -   Funeral prayer of former cricketer Abdul Qadir was offered Saturday in Lahore which many political, sports, showbiz and other figures attended.

Newly-appointed chief selector and head coach Misbah-ul-Haq, skipper Sarfaraz Ahmed, Babar Azam, former skipper Inzamam-ul-Haq, former leg-spinner Mushtaq Ahmed, Kamran Akmal, Salman Butt, Tauseef Ahmed, Basit Ali, Mansoor Rana and Azhar Ali also attended the funeral prayer of legendary spinner.

Comedians like Sohail Ahmed, Qaiser Pia along with political figures Ijaz Ali Shah and others also attended the funeral.

Former leg-spinner Qadir passed away at age of 63 after suffering a cardiac arrest in Lahore on Friday. Qadir was taken to hospital immediately after suffering a heart attack where doctors declared him dead and informed that he left this world even before reaching the hospital.

Abdul Qadir has served in several positions including chief selector at the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) as well as a commentator. He played 67 Tests taking 236 wickets and 104 One Day Internationals (ODIs) where he bagged 132 wickets representing the national team. He started his career with a Test match against England in Lahore on December 14, 1977, and played his last Test against West Indies in Lahore on December 6, 1990. He played the first ODI against New Zealand in Birmingham on June 11, 1983 while playing his last ODI against Sri Lanka in Sharjah on November 2, 1993.

Qadir’s unique dancing action was as attractive as it was destructive, spinning the ball prodigiously and had a lethal googly and a flipper. Prime Minister Imran Khan Saturday expressed grief over the demise of eminent cricketer Abdul Qadir who was a “genius” and “one of the greatest leg spinners of all time.”

Offering condolences and prayers for the bereaved family, the prime minister said late Abdul Qadir was the life of the dressing room who used to entertain the team with his wit and humour.

In a tweet, the prime minister believed that late Qadir’s bowling statistics did not do justice to his genius.

“Had he been playing cricket now with the modern DRS system, where batsmen can be given out on the front foot as well, Qadir would have gotten as many wickets as the great Shane Warne,” he remarked.

Federal Minister for Inter Provincial Coordination (IPC) Dr. Fahmida Mirza also expressed deep grief and sorrow over the sad demise of legendary cricketer. The minister prayed to Allah Almighty to rest his soul in eternal peace and give courage to his family to bear this irreparable loss fortitude, said a press release issued here.  Dr Fahmida in her message to Qadir’s family lauded the leg spinner’s services for cricket and especially for Pakistan team.

Minister for Science and Technology Chaudhry Fawad Hussain said a shining chapter of Pakistan’s cricket had come to a close. He prayed to Allah Almighty to rest the departed soul in eternal peace and grant courage to the bereaved family to bear the loss with fortitude.

Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Information and Broadcasting Dr Firdous Ashiq Awan said Abdul Qadir was a great leg spinner and famous cricketer and his death was a great loss for the cricketing world. She said his services in the field of sports would be remembered for a long time to come. She prayed to Allah Almighty to rest the departed soul in eternal peace and grant courage to the bereaved family to bear the loss with fortitude.

Chairman Senate Muhammad Sadiq Sanjrani expressed deep grief and sorrow and prayed to Allah Almighty to rest the departed soul in eternal peace and grant solace to the bereaved family. The Chairman said that late Abdul Qadir proved his mettle in the field of cricket and also made name for the country.

Former Test cricketer Abdul Qadir’s death was also felt by the entire cricketing world, including Indian players with whom the late leggie had many memorable battles.

West Indies star batsman Brian Lara tweeted a video of Abdul Qadir with caption: “I made my debut against this world class leg spinner. RIP #AbdulQadir”

Several Indian cricketers, past and present, paid their tributes to the legendary spin bowler.

The great Sachin Tendulkar remembered Qadir as “one of the best spinners of his times.”

VVS Laxman said he “was always mesmerised” by Qadir’s “unique style of bowling”.

Fellow leg-spinner Anil Kumble described Qadir as “a great exponent of legspin who revived the art”.

Off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin defined Qadir as “the spin bowling stalwart from Pakistan”.

Cricketer-turned-pundit Sanjay Manjrekar credited Qadir for inspiring an entire generation of Pakistani leg-spinners.

Famous TV presenter Harsha Bhogle recalled “one of the greats” Qadir as a great story-teller as well.